Hemp testing and research is a fast-growing field that has emerged in the laboratory science field. Those who wish to grow and sell hemp products need to first test their materials, which is where testing laboratories come in. Independent laboratories that fulfill these testing requirements are in high demand. If you’re interested in diving into the world of hemp testing and research, but have no idea where to start, this article is for you. Keep reading to learn how to start your own hemp testing laboratory with the basic steps to get you started.
Check All Levels of Legality & Permissions
Hemp, which comes from the Cannabis sativa plant, is well-regulated here in the United States. At least 47 states have laws in place that regulate the cultivation, processing, and sale of hemp and industrial hemp products. Before you begin your journey to establishing your own hemp research facility, you’ll need to secure the proper legal approvals and permissions on the federal, state, and local levels. Because each state and even local and city governments possess different restrictions on hemp, you’ll need to start by identifying the unique laws based on your location.
This will also depend on whether you wish to grow and process hemp at your location. Some states require hemp growing licenses, and some restrict the processing of hemp beyond its seeds altogether. You may have to register with the Department of Agriculture and apply for a hemp registration depending on your state and local government.
Understand Hemp Supply Chain
Whether you plan to grow and process your own hemp or not, it’s still important to understand the hemp supply chain. This is especially important for researchers who won’t be cultivating and growing their own hemp on site, as you’ll need to procure these materials elsewhere. Different steps of the hemp supply chain require different testing services. Hemp cultivators must test or have their products tested to ensure they are free of residual solvents and impurities like pesticides, fungus, and mold. Hemp distributors need testing to classify their strains and potencies. Finally, hemp regulators use independent testing laboratories like yours to test hemp and other Cannabis sativa products as well.
Find a Laboratory Location
The first step to starting your own hemp testing laboratory is to choose the location. Once you have a better idea of the policies and procedures for hemp testing in each state and local government, you’ll know whether you should look for a location in your area or if you’ll need to target your search elsewhere so you can meet the legal requirements. Your building must also meet the proper legal requirements for a hemp testing facility.
Overall, your laboratory will need to have enough space to support your testing procedures, equipment, employees, and provide a controlled environment to perform these testing procedures. You should be able to control aspects like lighting, temperature, foot traffic, and more to keep tests controlled and avoid outside interference.
Building the Right Lab Space
Once you have selected the right location and building itself for your testing facility, you’ll need to examine the lab space itself. The testing area needs to be able to support your employees and their safety during testing and experimentation processes. One of the first things to consider is stocking your new lab space with the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) for hemp testing procedures. You’ll also need to design your workspaces and where your future hemp testing equipment will reside. If you plan to handle any type of shipping or distribution of hemp products, you’ll also need to plan the setup for packing and shipping, and where those processes will take place.
Hemp Extraction and Lab Equipment
Once you have the basic layout of your laboratory decided, it’s time to stock it with the proper hemp testing equipment. Start with high-quality furniture like lab benches and tables, as well as seating arrangements and desks that take lab ergonomics into account. Another important aspect of hemp testing is proper ventilation, so prepare your space with a fume hood and quality air control technology. A fume hood offers a controlled environment for working with chemicals and extractions. Certain hemp testing and extraction processes will require different chemicals and solvents, which will need proper storage in a lab-safe cabinet or storage container.
And don’t forget to stock your laboratory with the proper PPE, either. Protective equipment for working with hemp and Cannabis sativa products includes:
- Disposable gloves
- Disposable respirators and masks
- Protective eyeglasses, goggles, or full-face shields
- Protective clothing or laboratory coats
- Earplugs and hearing protection
- And more
Recruit Your Employees and Staff
Finally, when you’ve successfully acquired all your legal permissions, found the right lab space, and stocked it with the proper equipment, it’s time to recruit the rest of your lab personnel. Your laboratory will have a variety of positions to fill, including lab technicians, scientists, directors, and more. When considering the potential employees for the job, look for experience in the lab testing or even cannabis-specific testing field. Hemp testing is a new and emerging field, so it may be difficult to find qualified employees with this specific experience though, so you may have to broaden your search to general lab testing experience.
Where To Find Laboratory Equipment
More specific hemp testing equipment can be hard to track down from a reputable source. This is especially true if you’re considering buying used equipment to save on your laboratory startup costs. Fortunately, you don’t have to look far to find trustworthy equipment for hemp testing research. Here at USA Lab Equipment, we offer quality lab equipment at prices you can afford. We offer used BHO extraction equipment for sale for your laboratory testing needs.
If you’re considering starting your own hemp testing facility, this guide has hopefully helped clear up some of the steps you’ll need to take along the way. Now that you know how to start your own hemp testing laboratory and where to secure quality testing equipment, you’re all set to get started on your own scientific journey into hemp research.